Service Learning Video

Owens Community College Receives National Sustainability Leadership Award

At Owens, sustainability is more than a trend. Around here it is standard operating procedure to give back to our students while not taking away from our environment. This is the mission of the community garden and Harvest Pantry initiatives and is something the College takes seriously.

The community garden and Harvest Pantry offer assistance to students in the form of perishable and non-perishable food resources. Both outreach programs were established to provide collaborative service learning opportunities, campus outreach and sustainability efforts for students, faculty and staff throughout various academic disciplines.

"Many of our students are balancing several responsibilities, including financially supporting their families by working two jobs while attending school. These initiatives aim to alleviate some financial concerns for our students so they can focus on their education," said Krista Kiessling, Owens Director of Service Learning.

These efforts have not gone unnoticed by our students or by national organizations. So much so that Owens Community College was one of nine colleges and universities nationwide to receive a 2012 Sustainability Leadership Award from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE).

The community garden and Harvest Pantry serve 300-400 individuals each month.

"Owens is doing their part in the sustainability efforts trending across the country. But the bottom line is that we are helping students, which has been our goal from the beginning. This prestigious award is an honor and certainly affirms the College's commitment to philanthropy, service and education for our students," said Kiessling.

The College was also named the recipient of the Campus Sustainability Case Study Award for outstanding service learning, campus outreach and sustainability efforts.